This is my first baby, and I want my labor and delivery to go smoothly. I prefer a holistic approach - au naturale. In the first trimester, this baby was exposed to a significant amount of cortisol (depression hormone). I'm feeling guilty and don't want to further expose her to medications or other chemicals that might have adverse, long term effects.
Has anyone used a birth doula? What did you pay? What was yours and your significant others' experience with the doula?
I suggest you start by interviewing doulas in your area. Make a list of questions or concerns you have for the doula. Also ask your doctor or hospital if they can recommend any doulas.
Personally I make it a point to make the dad or other family members feel very included. I let the dad know that I am there to help meet his needs as well. I make sure the dad has time to eat and rest.
There is a huge variety in what doulas believe in, just like what doctor believe in. It is best to make sure you find the right one for you. If you need help finding one or creating a list of questions let me know.
My fiancé Erik thinks I'll be screaming for the epidural or pain meds at the first sign of pain. With some meditation and breathing techniques I can do it.
Nothing the moms or dads do ever bothers me. We all do weird things when we are in pain and stressed out and I have never had anyone do anything the bothered me. As a doula I am there to support whatever choices that mom makes. I am not there to make choices for her or much her in one direction or another. I am just there to help her and support her.
I require all of my doula patients to take a childbirth class (I prefer my class). I also require all to make a birth plan with me. I want my patients to be able to make informed choices. I also want to make sure that I understand all of their needs and preferences.
Don't worry about your doulas feelings, you do what is best for you. I am sure that your doula will not be bother by anything you do or say. Just make sure you respect her time by keeping all appointments or giving notice for cancellations, pay her on time as agreed upon, make sure you let her know immediately when you think you are in labor so she can make arrangements for her children.